Matt Haig on feelings

by janeeatonhamilton

“I believe one of the jobs of a writer is to feel life and then report on feelings. Fiction may be fantastical, but it is also emotional reportage. (Non-fiction = external truths. Fiction = internal ones. Discuss.)”  –Matt Haig

As Graham Greene noted, and Matt Haig paraphrases, writers bank emotion, and when we write, we withdraw our funds.  Again and again, easily enough to retire on.  We use them to build a bed, a room, a house, and then when we publish, we invite you in.

“You need to feel life’s terror to feel its wonder.”-  Matt Haig

I believe this.  To lead a full emotion life is a talent.  To not be frightened to feel is a gift.  To cherish it all–the rocks, the glass, the soft down of a magnolia petal–is to live fully.

To quote Leon Rooke on one of my book blurbs, “She sits you down in her hardest chair, litters tacks on the floor about your naked feet, and holds you there petrified but alert as she speaks the body’s news.”

We have accounts full of celebration and joy and dancing, full of critical analysis, full of the sights and sounds of our lives, full of our daughter’s smiles.  If we’re lucky and talented, we are able to translate the entire shebang in ways that might alarm but also move you.

The Thin-Skinned Writer